alsoran runners Don Oliver's WP
November 2016
Training Programme for Comrades 2017

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Don Oliver's Training Programme

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Where are we now? 

Sitting at a very generous 217 days to go with Christmas in between. Entries will close at the end of November or before which is likely for the 20,000 cap. If any of our readers are still waiting to see; probably best to forget about it for 2017 race. The training gets harder now and you need some dedication to keep up the training targets over November and December.the dedicated are now running 5 days /week and entering two races a month. This month for example the fixtures are Landmarks 21km and Winelands 21km. Neither is a walk in the park and there is not much time for recovery to keep up the 55km /week training schedule. No, Comrades is not for the weak and undecided. It requires dedication and commitment early on and right through to race day.

Our programme for November takes just a biteable bit or chewable chunks from 202km in October to 222km in November. You keep the only 5day/week running programme but I have inserted the first example of genuine Comrades training;”a longer mid week run.” In Week 1 and then later in Week 3 there are longish 12km runs. It will take you at least1hour 15mins and maybe 1hour 30mins. It should be a relaxed pace including some hills and if possible get company from club mates. Remember 2 watering points in these summer months.

Secondly the objective is a slightly faster 21km half marathon to 6mins/km or 2hours 06 mins for the race.

Something you to have to learn early on as a Comrades runner are to be patient. You have to be patient as you sensibly and carefully build up your ability to run long distances. The same applies in the road races that you will be tackling right now and right through to Comrades itself. You have to be patient to pace yourself in the races which translates into recognising how far you have to run and what ability you have developed to do it. So often the better runners come past you in the second half. You must learn to be one of those who pass a lot of the field as the race progresses. To start off slowly really means that you are able to recognise for how long you can keep up a certain pace. In addition, you will learn how you perform as the distance builds up. A good runner will still feel confident to maintain a steady speed well into the second half of any race. Patience has to be exercised in your training programme as well to avoid doing too much as early as 7 months to go.

The big event in W.P. this month is undoubtedly The Vital Winelands Marathon on November 12th 2016. The novice runners on this programme should be patient and only enter for the 21km. The more experienced long distance runners will be doing a full 42km knowing how to recover before the hard Comrades training starts in January 2016. The novice will wait until they are better and fully prepared which is planned to be February next year. At this stage of training everything you do must be successful to build up your confidence. Therefore don’t do things that are likely to fail. I have met so many novices who made an early mistake by trying to run a marathon in November and failing, ending up demotivated and very often injured. They were trying to qualify early in case they get an injury later on in the year. It doesn’t work like that. When you are well prepared you never fail.
Thirdly there are two weekend club runs of 25km each. Which will take at least 3hours with some drink stops? Club runs are relaxed unpressurised runs with no km boards or cut off times. Enjoy some light banter and even a verse or two of singing. Make time to have a shower afterward and join in the plans for next week’s race or training plans.

November and also December are dedicated to running a good 30km Bay to Bay in early January 2017.

November 2016 Training Programme.

Objective: To run a 21km road race in under 2hours 06mins.  

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
w/c 07/11/16 14/11/16 21/11/16 28/11/16
Tuesday 8km T/T 8km T/T 8km T/T 8km T/T
Wednesday 8km 8km 6km 6km
Thursday 12km 10km 12km 10km
Friday 5km 5km 8km 8km
Saturday 21km race 21km race REST REST
Sunday REST REST 25km 25km 
Total 54km 52km 59km 57km
Total km for November 2016 = 222km

Recommended races:
November 12th 2016 Vital Winelands half Marathon Eikestadt Primary School.
November 19th 2016 Mitchells Plain Titans Half marathon.21km Rocklands Sport Complex.
November 23rd 2016 Sanlam Neil Joubert 13km Plaaswedloop.Klein Simonsvlei Farm

Thought for the month: “It is really hotting up now”

Don Oliver
Cape Town
October 2016

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Copyright Don Oliver 2016